Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Archive: G is for Gluten Free

G is for Gluten Free
Last October my life changed forever. At the time I thought my life was ending but it was just the beginning.... Last October I was diagnosed with Celiac disease. My friend Linda over at Gluten Free Homemaker does a much better job of giving an overview of Celiac disease than I could ever do. I am going to quote her blog.
Celiac disease is a genetic autoimmune disease which affects both children and adults. In people with celiac disease, the body reacts to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley, setting off an autoimmune reaction. This reaction causes the production of antibodies which attack and damage the small intestine. Specifically, damage is done to the villi which line the small intestine and are crucial to the absorption of nutrients.

This damage to the villi can result in diarrhea or constipation, weight loss, other gastrointestinal problems, malnutrition, and failure to thrive (in children). It also affects other organs in the body and can lead to irritability, poor concentration, fatigue, bone and joint problems, anemia, reproductive problems, depression, and problems of the nervous system.

Celiac disease is not an allergy. Allergies can be outgrown. As an autoimmune disease, Celiac disease cannot be outgrown. There is no cure and there are currently no drugs to treat it. The good news is that it can be treated with a change in diet. People with Celiac disease can lead healthy lives by completely avoiding gluten. Once on a gluten-free diet, the villi in the small intestines will heal over time.

Based on a prevalence study done by the Center for Celiac Research, it is believed that 1 in 133 people have celiac disease. Diagnosis is made through blood tests and small bowel biopsy. The celiac panel blood tests include tissue transglutaminase (tTG) and anti gliadin (AGA) tests. A positive tTG result is very suggestive of celiac disease. A positive AGA result can indicate celiac disease or wheat allergy.


Since going Gluten Free my health has made a total 180. I have more energy, I have clearer thinking and no more abdominal pain. The way I look and think abut food has totally changed too. I try to eat fresh, whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, veggies, eggs, and rice. This has been a real change because I used to never eat fruits and veggies. I  feel so much better that I don't mind eating them so much anymore.  I am also VERY careful about eating processed foods. Gluten can be in foods that you never thought it would be-like catchup.

If you have any questions or comments about Gluten Fee or Celiac disease I'd be happy to answer them. Just email me or post the questions in the comment sectionpost signature

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1 Comments:

At September 13, 2011 at 9:56 AM , Blogger Carol Kilgore said...

Good for you for finding out the problem and dealing with it. I can't imagine how difficult it must be to avoid wheat products.

 

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